Topic 3 Activities

Objective: to encourage students to experiment with the circuity by varying resistance or capacitance, and observe how this affects the tone produced, through a hands-on experience that fosters creativity.

Duration: 20 minutes

Materials: Breadboard, Wires, 1 LED, 1 resistor (any value between 100 ohms and 1k ohms), 1 capacitor (any value between 0.1uF and 1uF), Arduino/other microcontroller, Computer with audio output

Procedure:

  1. Students connect LED, resistor and capacitor to a breadboard.
  2. Students connect a microcontroller to the breadboard and program it to read the voltage at the LED and convert it into an audible tone. For example, they can use the Arduino tone() function to generate a tone with a frequency corresponding to the voltage at the LED.
  3. Students play the tone through the audio output of the computer, using headphones or speakers. Teacher encourages varying the resistance or capacitance of the circuit, and observe how this affects the voltage and therefore the tone produced.

Objective: to comprehend simple and parallel circuits and introduce the concept of sonification as a way of representing electronic circuits through sound.

Duration: 35 minutes

Materials: LED light bulbs (at least three of different colors), Batteries (at least three), wires, musical instruments or a sound effects app

Procedure:

  1. Teacher introduces simple circuits and parallel circuits, by showing diagrams and physical examples.
  2. Each student will be provided with 3 LED light bulbs of different colors, three batteries, and some wire.
  3. Teacher asks students to create two simple circuits and two parallel circuits using the LED light bulbs, batteries, and wire. Encouragement to experiment with different configurations and to make sure that each circuit works properly before moving on.
  4. Then the teacher assigns a musical note/sound effect to each LED light bulb color (e.g red LED – snare drum, blue LED – bass guitar, green LED – sound of a synthesizer.)
  5. Students will create a musical composition using their circuits and the assigned musical notes or sound effects, by connecting the circuits and activating each one in the desired order, or by using switches to turn the circuits on and off in rhythm with the music (encouragement to experiment with different musical styles and tempos.)
  6. Students present their compositions to the class and discuss their thought process.

Objective: to effectively build an LC circuit for a music scenario.

Materials: capacitor, inductor, resistor, breadboard, wires, audio output device (speaker, headphones), voltage source (battery, power supply)

Procedure:

  1. Students will gather the materials, and build the circuit on the breadboard by connecting the capacitor, inductor, and resistor in series.
  2. Students connect the audio output device to the ends of the circuit.
  3. Once the right combination of values has been found, connect the circuit to a music player or instrument to play music.
  4. Teacher and students discuss the circuit function and the effect of capacitors and inductors’ values in the frequency of the tones produced.

  • The activity can be done in small groups, each group building their own circuit and experimenting with different values of capacitors and inductors.
  • For students with visual impairments, you can use verbal descriptions of the circuit and its components, or a tactile diagram or 3D-printed model of the circuit to help students understand the layout.
  • For students with sensory difficulties, you can provide noise-cancelling headphones or earplugs to help block out the sound. Use a vibration speaker or other tactile device to allow the student to feel the vibrations of the tones produced, rather than relying on auditory input.